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Your Focus Is Your Future!Lee Keun-chul, more than an ordinary English teacher
Sim Ha-kyung  |
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승인 2007.08.29  16:59:38
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 Lee Keun-chul ('86, Dept. of English Language & Lit.)

HE IS more like a friend than a teacher to many, with his sparkling eyes and friendly smile. *The Yonsei Annals* had the pleasure to talk to Lee Keun-chul (’86, Dept. of English Language & Lit.), well known for his lucid lectures and easy-going nature.

Eyes and ears open for English
I grew up in Suwon, in a neighborhood where many foreigners lived. I was intrigued so I asked my father to teach me how to greet them in English. Later, I approached them using greetings such as “Hello” and “How are you?”. This was the start of my interest in English.
As I grew up, there weren’t as many sources of English as there are now, so I watched and listened to AFKN (Armed Forces Radio & Television Service), read English magazines and books and listened to pop songs. I was fortunate to have a father who was a researcher in microbiology and was fluent in English and Japanese. He allowed me to be surrounded by his heaps of research documents and books in foreign languages.

Expansion of knowledge
I entered Yonsei Univ. as an English major because I knew myself to be more interested in the areas of liberal arts and languages. While it remains that I acquired much knowledge during my years at Yonsei, I learned plenty more outside classrooms, through direct cultural experiences. I talked to classmates, traveled, worked part-time jobs and participated in English plays. Those were the years that built my tolerance, independence and determined mind.
I spent my college years buried in books; I was reading books for graduate students in my first year of undergraduate school. Through reading, I gained knowledge on various fields. I believe that the area of final and utmost interest becomes one’s future, just as English became mine. I focused and consistently pursued my goal, and I believe it is the most essential part of striving for one’s future.

Think wide, but focus on your future
As I focused, I felt that teaching was my way, as I started giving lectures in universities such as Seoul National, Yonsei, Korea and Hanyang. I wasn’t nervous at all when I stood at the podium. Then I realized I was born to do this job, so went on studying English and linguistics in Yonsei Graduate School.
   In 1995, I started giving lectures on cable television and in cyber university. Starting with those, I gradually expanded my field with television and radio programs on EBS, and later on SBS, KBS and MBC. Teaching on television is communicating with those who watch it, and I believe my outgoing and friendly nature makes them comfortable. As my experience shows, knowing what you want and focusing on achieving it is the way to go for your future.

To Yonseians
   I can’t emphasize enough the importance and value of reading. Imagine buying an hour of a world-famous celebrity, such as Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. How much money would you have to pay them? Probably an insurmountable sum of money. However, when you read their books, it is as if they are giving personal advice, coaching you in the comfort of your own home.
   We live in a world of information, perhaps too much of it. Internet sites offer various kinds of news at the same level, whether it is about a scandalous affair of a celebrity or of a major international conflict. We can drown in the flood of information, if we can’t fish out the essential knowledge. In that sense, reading a book gives you solid information and thoughts, enabling you to concentrate on the important parts and reflect them upon yourself. Feel free to think wide, but focus and find your future!

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